Taylor Swift just can’t shake off the sale of her former record label.
The highest-paid entertainer in the world tweeted Thursday that the founder of Big Machine Records, Scott Borchetta, and the label’s new owner, Scooter Braun, won’t allow her to perform a medley of her hit songs during the American Music Awards because it would count as a re-recording of the songs before Swift is contractually allowed to re-record them next year.
Swift said she planned to perform the medley as she’s being honored with the “artist of the decade” award at the show.
“This is wrong,” Swift wrote. “Neither of these men had a hand in the writing of these songs. They did nothing to create the relationship I have with my fans.”
Swift has said she “absolutely” plans to re-record her back catalog after protesting its sale to Braun, who she accused of bullying her when he bought the label last summer.
In the meantime, Netflix has made a documentary about Swift, she revealed in the tweet. But the men behind her former record label declined the use of her older music or performance footage for it, Swift alleged. She said Borchetta told her team that they would only let her use her music if she agreed to not re-record her old songs next year and if she stopped talking about him and Braun.
“I feel very strongly that sharing what is happening to me could change the awareness level for other artists and potentially help them avoid a similar fate,” Swift wrote. “Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.”
There's a lot of money on the line. Big Machine released Swift's first six albums. Braun reportedly paid $300 million for the label, and Billboard reported Swift had sold 32.7 million albums in the U.S. as of July. If Swift re-records all her early hits, it could take a big chunk out of Big Machine's future sales.
Borchetta has previously responded to Swift’s criticism by saying he had offered her a deal that involved immediately transferring ownership of her music and other assets to her, though Swift has said that’s not the case.
Swift asked her fans to reach out to Borchetta, Braun, the Carlyle Group — which reportedly helped fund the label purchase — and other artists Braun manages to “talk some sense” into them.
“I just want to be able to perform my own music,” Swift wrote. “That’s it. I’ve tried to work this out privately through my team but have not been able to resolve anything.”